News, events and schools' information for families across Bath and West Wiltshire

Bereavement charity 2wish has officially launched the expansion of its support services into Somerset.

The charity, which offers support to families affected by the sudden and unexpected death of a child or young person aged 25 and under, is expanding into England and will be offering support to those within Somerset, as well as Bristol, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Shropshire and Cheshire.

Founder Rhian Mannings MBE (pictured above) established 2wish in 2012, after she and her husband Paul experienced the heartache of losing their baby son George. They left the hospital heartbroken, confused and bewildered with no support. Five days later, consumed with grief, Paul took his own life. There was no support available, and she and her children felt completely alone.

The charity has so far supported over 1,400 families who have lost a child or young person aged 25 or under. Working hand in hand with organisations such as the Police, NHS Wales and Organ Donation Wales, it provides support to make sure that no family is missed. Across every Emergency Unit and Critical Care Unit in Wales there are now immediate support pathways in place.

Rhian said, “We’ve seen the significant difference that we’re making to families who lose a child or young adult under certain circumstances and are proud to be able to extend our support to local communities in England. We have been spending time building relationships in the hospitals and police forces of bordering counties, which has been a key step.

“In order to cover the demand for this new arm of the charity, we have expanded the support team to ensure that there are staff embedded in the communities accessing the support on offer. With this team in place, we are now mirroring the support services that have been running in Wales since 2012.

“Our jobs are as incredibly hard as they are rewarding. We meet devastated families at the lowest ebb of their lives. It is a hugely traumatic time and sudden loss can have a profound effect on the mental health of parents, siblings and other family members.

“We believe this support is essential and will prevent further families walking out into the night with no hope and no support. We are very proud that we are now able to extend this help and support to families on the English borders.”

As a result of the expansion, the charity will now be known as 2wish Cymru in Wales and 2wish in England.

Rhian added, “I’m immensely proud of what the charity has achieved in Wales and am determined to continue to help those who find themselves in the heart-breaking position of losing a loved one under 25. 2wish Cymru will be financially independent of England and will still very much be there for the people of Wales.”

The charity, headquartered in Llantrisant, has confirmed the appointments for several roles due to the expansion.

Kirstie Edwards has joined 2wish as the Bereavement Services Manager for England.

With a background in building new services and managing national and regional youth and community projects, Kirstie will be supporting the team positioned across the length of England that borders Wales, being known within the service as Phase 1.

The new team includes Immediate Support Coordinator Robin Hogg for the Somerset region.

To find out more about 2wish and its work, please visit